Bob Filner Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Battery, Felony False Imprisonment

by Sterling Beard

Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner, who was driven from office by an avalanche of sexual-harassment allegations, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony false imprisonment.

The felony charge alleges false imprisonment, which refers to illegally detaining someone against his will in a private or public capacity, “by violence, fraud, menace and deceit” but the two-sentence description of the charges issued by the San Diego Superior Court doesn’t explain further. There are three female victims, all unidentified.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been interviewing Filner’s legion of accusers and the California attorney general’s office has been conducting a criminal investigation.

Filner, a former ten-term congressman, was hounded by allegations of sexual assault from over 17 women, one of whom has filed a lawsuit against the 71-year-old mayor. He resigned his post in August after intense pressure, but maintained that he had been the victim of a “lynch mob” mentality.

Thanks to a deal made in exchange for his resignation, the city of San Diego will pay for Filner’s legal fees and any settlement reached, except for punitive damages, in the existing suit. It will also pay for his defense against other civil suits, but the city will not defend him in any criminal case.

Filner, the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years, had only been in office nine months when he resigned.